Day 92, Year 4: Elephant Rides and Farewells
Date: Thursday, January 22, 2009
Weather: Another Beautiful Day with Very Little Wind
Latitude: 08 degrees 04.101 minutes N
Longitude: 098 degrees 26.680 minutes E
Location: Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket Island, Thailand

After ten absolutely fantastic days of island hopping with Heather, Jed, and Sam, we are back in the Ao Po Grand Marina. In just a couple of hours we will be headed to the airport. I’m sitting in the cockpit writing this log and listening to Heather hum bedtime lullabies to Sam. I’m looking at his little pool on the back deck filled with water and beach toys. His little plastic tools are strewn on the cockpit cushions and his bucket of coral and shells that he collected yesterday is sitting beside the tools. We will head to the airport just before midnight and when Mark and I return to Windbird and wake up in the morning and see the pool, the tools, the bucket of shells . . . there will certainly be a huge emptiness in our hearts. Sam really has become a little sailor man and I know granddad will be just a little sad every time he starts the dinghy motor without Sam. Sam LOVES going fast in the dinghy with granddad. And Oma is probably just going to be sad for days. I’ll just have to keep remembering how absolutely wonderful our time together was and look forward to the next time we are together. Easier said than done.

Today was just fabulous. Our birthday present to Sam was an elephant ride. So when we arrived back in the marina early this morning, we got ready for our adventure. Sam loves reading about elephants, but none of us were sure he would really want to ride on a real one. But as soon as we arrived at the elephant reserve and Sam spotted an elephant, he just kept smiling and pointing to the elephant and then to himself. Mark and I got on our elephant first, and Sam had not one hesitation about mounting his elephant with mommy and daddy. In fact, Sam had no hesitation about getting out of the riding seat on the elephant’s back and actually riding with Heather on the elephant’s neck. Sam equally enjoyed feeding the elephants after the ride. So the elephant ride was a huge success.

We had lunch at the little Muslim restaurant at the end of the marina drive and then Mark worked on getting photos from our last ten days of adventure downloaded while I did the wash and Heather and Sam had a nap. Jed walked up to Chandara Resort for a swim and a little relax time. After nap, Sam played in his pool while Heather and Jed packed. We decided to go into Phuket Town for dinner and returned later than we had planned. So now it is time for a quick hour’s sleep before heading to the airport. So much to do and so little time.

090122 Day 92 Thailand–Elephant Rides and Farewells
Day 93, Year 4: Windbird's Empty Nest
Day 91, Year 4: Happy 2nd Birthday to Sam!